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went to a local potter's studio sale

updated mon 12 dec 05


Sue Beach on sun 11 dec 05

Yesterday, I went to the studio sale of John Peterson (formerly of Bethel Pike
Pottery). John has been in the same location for 38 years. His former Bethel
Pike partner, Alan Patrick, lives next door. While talking to John, I learned
that Alan has closed his pottery, sold his equipment, and carpeted his studio.
Alan is also a painter & he has decided to focus on painting and tile work.

After the recent discussions on ClayArt about studio sales, I was curious to see
how John would do his. His space is adequate but not large. Last time I was
out there, the main room had his wheel, work tables, pug mill, slab roller, etc.
His small showroom was cluttered and stacked with pots.

Yesterday, I had a hard time orienting myself when I walked in. No equipment in
sight. The room was ringed with tables with nicely & sparsely arranged pots.
There were several Japanese style screens across one end of the room, so of
course, I peeked behind them. They hid his wheel & buckets of stuff, & tools, &
all the things that would normally be in the work space. The showroom was
cleared & the pots carefully arranged. The place looked really nice.

A few things I noted:

There was a tray of cookies (one of John's trays) and a pot of coffee, but the
only person I saw eat or drink was John's wife.

The pottery was displayed carefully, but there didn't seem to be a lot of it. As
things sold, new pieces were put in their place, but the overall look was sparse
and designed to show off each piece.

John was doing a brisk, steady business on a day when the roads were terrible.
He was talking to his visitors, taking time to explain processes when they
asked. He & I talked pots & glazes, etc. in between his other customers. The
people obviously felt connected to John and his work.

He was selling bowls - large bowls (I bought one of the medium ones), lidded
porceline dishes, some lovely salt-fired vases (bought one), some slab trays
(already have one, but these were even nicer than mine), wonderful bird feeders,
and handled baskets he calls 'napkin holders.' Only a few mugs in sight. No
plates, except large platters hanging on the walls. No casseroles. No pitchers.
No teapots. Gave me a free spoon rest when I bought the 2 pieces. Made me
smile & remember Mel's free mug advice.

Sue Beach
Muncie, IN
Ron couldn't get inside 'cause of the slick walkways, so he waited in the car
for me. And waited and waited..... He saw me come out carrying the big sack
with my pots & just smiled & shook his head. This is a terrible addiction,
isn't it.